What Is A French Entremet (And What Goes Into One)?

French entremet cake
French entremet cake - Miuda/Shutterstock

In France, food is no joke. The nation's culinary standards are so revered that French bakeries are even defined by law. This culinary prowess is particularly evident in the realm of desserts. There are myriad French pastries you need to try at least once, but few are as complex as entremet.

An entremet, much like the intricate history of France itself, is a multilayered creation. There is no strict list of which sweet treat should comprise each individual layer; cookies, cakes, cream, jellies, and jams are all on the table. After these layers are assembled, the final tower should take into account both taste and texture. Then, the cake is given structure and stability when mixed with mousse, and the entire thing is given a glossy finish with glaze. Overall, an entremet represents where aesthetic appeal and full flavor completely cross paths. Still, before you try your hand at making one yourself, you need to factor in the level of baking expertise creating an entremet entails. It's a challenge worth taking on, a culinary adventure waiting to be explored.

Read more: French Cooking Tricks You Need In Your Life

The Many Layers Of The Entremet Cake

Slice of chocolate entremet
Slice of chocolate entremet - Miuda_21/Getty Images

The word entremet itself is French for "between courses." It describes the small sweets diners receive before digging into the next dish. In its original iteration, an entremet serves as a palate cleanser. However, folks eventually found a way to combine disparate palate-cleansing plates into a single dessert.

Assembling an entremet cake takes both technical skills as well as a creative flair. As previously discussed, the towering treat can contain any number of ingredients, and each part of the entremet's interior is called an insert. These layers can comprise essentially everything, from crispy cookies to fragrant fruit filling. To ensure the stability of the entremet, each layer should be made in its own receptacle. This way, the flavor and mouthfeel of each layer will stay separate for as long as possible. It also makes the entremet a delicious display for the different desserts.

Finishing A French Entremet

Slices of strawberry entremet
Slices of strawberry entremet - Traceyaphotos/Getty Images

An entremet is made mainly of mousse, but the inserts are assembled before you slather them in the airy ingredient. Keep the size of this stack relative to the mass of mousse surrounding it in mind, and make sure that the core of your entremet is simultaneously creamy, crunchy, bright, and bold. Often, these layers will feature cake and a crunchy chocolate component.

When finishing an entremet, you need to make the perfect mousse. The flavor should take the ingredients of your inserts in mind, but the importance of its taste is almost secondary to its stability. The mousse must be capable of containing your entremet inserts and stand up to slicing but somehow stay soft. As if this wasn't difficult enough, this mass of mousse is still unadorned. Completing the entremet means covering the whole thing with a shiny mirror glaze, which should have a uniform consistency. Then, it's time to decorate the dessert. Some entremets are artfully adorned, while others keep it simple, making do with the mirror glaze.

Read the original article on Daily Meal